DC Wants to Pass a Tough Crime Bill After Learning That Criminals Commit Crimes

Andy Sutherland / Shutterstock.com
Andy Sutherland / Shutterstock.com

It’s an ever-evolving story of soft-on-crime policies that leave cities across the nation vulnerable to unchecked criminal activities. It’s a reality that’s easily covered up by the current administration and the mainstream media. 

At some point, however, the fallout reaches the steps of the White House. At that point, the crime situation is a “crisis” and it’s all-hands-on-deck to clean up the mess left by progressive policies.  

In a startling about-face, DC seems poised to pass a crime bill that punishes criminals for crimes. 

For DC residents, the reality of having a prosecutor who doesn’t bother to prosecute crimes hits a little too close to home.

U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves chose not to prosecute 67% of the cases presented to him, citing the district’s lack of accreditation for the Department of Forensic Science and the law that prevents police from reviewing their body camera footage before filing charges. 

In DC, year-to-date homicides are up by 17%, motor vehicle theft up by 117%, and robberies rose by 52% from 2022.

Councilmember Brooke Pinto reported, “We are in a state of emergency right now. … And like in any emergency, we have to act like it, and we have to act urgently as a government to address the problem that we’re seeing.” 

Pinto added, When we have members of our community being shot and killed at rates that we haven’t seen for 20 years, that’s an emergency. Period. That was an emergency several months ago. That’s an emergency today.” 

One of the changes in the proposed bill include removing requirements to hold suspects for commission of a “dangerous crime” like kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, and carjacking. If passed, violent offenders will be jailed until trial. Unsurprisingly, critics feel that the changes will unfairly target Black people.  

As recently as March of 2023, following the massive exodus of police amid efforts to redirect or cut funds for the department, DC lawmakers denied there was a crime problem in DC. 

Pointing to data showing a drop in serious crimes, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson advised, “While perception is important, the reality is less concerning. Let me be clear: People should feel safe, and it is a problem that many residents of the district don’t.” He went on to add, “I know this belies the common belief and, when it comes to crime, how people feel is important. But there is not a crime crisis in Washington, D.C.” 

Mendelson admitted on Monday that his stance was politically motivated because Republicans tried to “interject” themselves into local affairs by claiming there was a crime crisis. He is reversing course on that March assessment, now noting, “Criminals can get away with murder in this city.” 

During the March hearing, Republican Representative Virginia Foxx warned, “On average, any given homicide suspect in D.C. has already been arrested 11 times before he or she actually commits homicide.” 

This warning was echoed in Monday’s hearing by Pinto, who acknowledged that there were “over 100 cases where people were charged with a crime of violence, released pretrial and recommitted another violent offense.” 

Mendelson supports the newly proposed bill, but cautions, “Folks are looking at the council to solve this. I don’t have a badge to make arrests. I don’t have a badge to investigate. But what will make a difference is increasing the closure rate and what also will make a difference is more aggressive prosecutions.” 

In May, Mayor Muriel Bowser proposed enhanced penalties for those committing violent crimes, but council members opposed the legislation. She believes that if the current bill passes, “we’re going to be safer, because people who are committing violent crime won’t be on the street to commit more violent crime.”  

This startling revelation should be shared with other progressive lawmakers in cities throughout the nation, but for DC, at least it’s a step in the right direction.